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(1962). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLI, 1960: Phylogenesis and Ontogenesis of Affect- and Structure-Formation and the Phenomenon of Repetition Compulsion. Max Schur. Pp. 275-287.. Psychoanal Q., 31:116.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLI, 1960: Phylogenesis and Ontogenesis of Affect- and Structure-Formation and the Phenomenon of Repetition Compulsion. Max Schur. Pp. 275-287.

(1962). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 31:116

International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLI, 1960: Phylogenesis and Ontogenesis of Affect- and Structure-Formation and the Phenomenon of Repetition Compulsion. Max Schur. Pp. 275-287.

This paper reconsiders, in the terms of Rapaport's second model of passivity,1 the freudian concept of the repetition compulsion. Rapaport's model postulates the discharge of accumulated drive tension without a contribution by the ego.

In man, some links of instinctive behavior may be retained and become interlocked with acquired patterns in order to form ego structures. The instinctive inhibitory mechanisms of avoidance, withdrawal, and anxiety may form such structures. In states of overwhelming danger or ego weakness, the avoidance mechanisms may revert to their primitive forms in which they are dissociated from the control of the ego. In these states tensions are built up which are repetitively and automatically discharged, giving rise to the phenomenon of the repetition compulsion. This follows the need for the reduction of tension postulated by Freud in his pleasure-unpleasure principle, even though the affect experienced in the discharge of anxiety in the repetition compulsion is unpleasant.

Freud introduced the concept of repetition compulsion as characteristic of drives. However, if we assume that the repetition compulsion is not a drive but is typical of all instinctual behavior, it is then possible for the defensive aspects of the self, rooted in instinct, to require periodic discharge for homeostatic reasons; when due to states of regression and/or overwhelming stimulation, they return to their primitive characteristics and are independent of the ego.

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1 Rapaport, David: The Theory of Ego Autonomy. A Generalization. Bull. Menninger Clinic, XXII, 1958, pp. 13-35.

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Article Citation

(1962). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLI, 1960. Psychoanal. Q., 31:116

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